Moving to the UP

My wife and I will be moving from Texas to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a couple of years (she’s from there). I have my CCW here and plan on getting one there. I haven’t studied how the process flows there yet, but am curious about possible registration of handguns. I think I’ve seen it either way and wanted to know if they are required to be registered or not.
On a slightly separate note, it appears Michigan’s knife laws are very vague and murky.

I would appreciate any information anyone has to share.


@Sean127 Welcome to the community. @Spence may be better able to answer your questions, as I have been out of the loop for 10 years. :us:

Doesn’t answer your question… but I am SOOOooooo jealous. the U.P. is so beautiful.

Thanks! I look forward to hearing from him. My late father-in-law made me a little jumpy with “That’s illegal in Michigan.”

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My wife is counting minutes practically. The scenery is definitely much different than the Texas panhandle.

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Where about in da UP?

Iron Mountain… don’t even have to change our clocks.

2 Likes good place just search for Michigan.

Thanks! Have gotten used to “pretty much anything goes” here.

Having lived in Michigan, I can tell you that they do in fact continue the defacto practice of “registering” handguns. They used to require you to take a “safety quiz” at the local PD. If you passed that quiz, they ran a background check and told you to return next day to pick up your “purchase permit”. That permit expired in 30 days. You had 10 days from date of purchase/transfer to return with your permit to the Police Station for a “safety inspection” where some dolt with a badge who knew nothing about firearms glad handed your pistol, mumbled under his breath about the dangers of gun ownership and then “signed off”.

That card went to the Michigan State Police and you were given a copy too.

Years went by and the form changed a little to the RI-60 (yellow card). You still have to have their permission on the RI-60 unless you have a CPL but, you still return two copies to the local po-po where one copy goes to the Michigan State Police where they keep a registry of your handguns. Long guns to my knowledge are not handled in that way. Private transfers are still legal and require to traceable documents or “permission” from the local constabulary.

How do I know? Because I filed a FOIA for my own records from Lansing years ago for records held. What I received back was an itemized list of every handgun to include serial numbers, that I had ever purchased while a Michigan Resident.

Yes, the U.P. is beautiful and I know that your Wife is from there. But, Michigan has become a socialist paradise and we left 3 years ago and will never return as residents.

Best of luck.


Thank you for your insight. It sounds as though the registration applies to handguns purchased while a resident of Michigan, so… the ones I already have wouldn’t need to be? I was also under the impression that long guns weren’t much of an issue.

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I would refer you to this link to Michigan law.

My advice comes with the caveat that I moved to Florida 3 years ago. If changes have occurred in the laws, I apologize in advance. However, USCCA does provide a lot of information on Michigan State Laws.

Best of luck and stay warm up there when you finally make your move. Hopefully by then, Whitmer will no longer be in office and will be serving time in prison.


Niagra is just across the river. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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That one, I’m familiar with - we drive through it on the way and on the way back.

Does Texas have a mechanism to keep your CPL/CWL/CCW after you leave?

An exemption to Michigan’s “registration” is to have an out of State CPL/CWL/CCW. If not, get an Arizona nonresident and you won’t have to worry about registration.

Also if you have sales receipts from your weapons, having purchased them from out of state you won’t have to register. There are plenty of LEOs who do not know the exemptions so be sure to study up and be prepared for it.

As far as knife laws go, knives are not preempted in Michigan so every jurisdiction can make its own laws on them. In the UP things are typically more relaxed.

Look up Michigan Open Carry, possibly join.

Enjoy your time in the UP, it’s a great place to live.

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@Sean127 You don’t have to tell us which part of the UP you’re moving to, but I have to add that parts of northern Michigan / Wisconsin / Minnesota are very, very rural. Not quite “frontier” like you can find out West, but pretty darn close. I know of counties that have “a sheriff,” and that’s about it for full time law enforcement.

Naturally, I would recommend that anyone comply with state and local laws regarding firearms. Just know that in some parts of da UP, you’re pretty much on your own.

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Frank73 summed it up well. You will have to register them with your local LE authority.

Aside from that, the gun and knife laws are pretty liberal for a purple state. I have no major issues with anything they’ve done so far.

For knife laws, also pretty liberal. Except for any blades that are double-edged – those are still a no-no.

Welcome to the U.P.! Hope to join you in a few years myself!!

What? I guess I’m naïve, but I didn’t realize that was a thing. Of all the problems in the world, someone wants to inspect how my knife is sharpened? Sounds like some law they passed so that the DA in Detroit had a tool to lock up teenagers.

One more thing I had to think about when I travel… which knife is “legal” in the states I’m driving through?

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Wow, that will be a big change, however new fun to be had! Get a snowmobile or two for the winter! Snowmobiling is the best fun that can be had in the snow (you may need one to.) Like hunting or fishing? Almost the best in the US. Moved away from the metro Detroit area and Michigan over 20 years ago, don’t miss the politics or gun laws but do miss the restaurants, stores, friends and family.


Seems odd, but at least they repealed the laws prohibiting automatic knives.